Charles K. Bellinger

Brite Divinity School educates and inspires people to serve God's diverse world as leaders in churches, the academy, and public life.

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During my years in graduate school I studied both theology and ethics because the concept of narrow disciplinary boundaries separating the two fields never made sense to me. I also developed a strong interest in reflecting on human psychology from a theological point of view. Over the past several years my attention has come into focus on the topic of theological anthropology seen through a Trinitarian lens. My major theme over the years since college has been reflecting on violence psychologically and ethically. Key thinkers I draw on include Soren Kierkegaard, Eric Voegelin, and Rene Girard.


M.A., Texas Christian University, 2013
M.S.L.S., University of Illinois, 1998
Ph.D., University of Virginia, 1997 (Theology, Ethics, and Culture)
M.A., University of Virginia, 1992 (Religious Ethics)
M.A., Pacific School of Religion, 1987 (Theology)
B.S., Portland State University, 1985




  • History of Christian Ethics
  • Kierkegaard and Moral Philosophy
  • Master of Theological Studies Colloquium: Advanced Theological Research and Writing
  • Religion and Violence, Religion and Secularity in Contemporary Thought
  • Rene Girard and Theology
  • Theology and Human Rights


  • The Genealogy of Violence: Reflections on Creation, Freedom, and Evil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
  • The Trinitarian Self: The Key to the Puzzle of Violence. Eugene, Oregon: Pickwick Publications, 2008.

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

  • “The Joker Is Satan, and So Are We: Girard and The Dark Knight.” Journal of Religion and Film 13/1 (April 2009).
  • “Understanding Violence: The New Copernican Revolution.” In The Just War and Jihad: Violence in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, edited by R. Joseph Hoffmann. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2006.
  • “‘The Crowd is Untruth’: A Comparison of Kierkegaard and Girard.” Contagion: A Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 3 (1996): 103-119.


  • “René Girard and the History of Rights Language,” University Faculty for Life conference, Provo, Utah, June 2, 2012
  • “We Are All Gods,” University Faculty for Life conference, University of Notre Dame, June 11, 2011.
  • “Abortion and the Drama of Human Motivations: With Reference to Kenneth Burke and René Girard,” Colloquium on Violence and Religion Conference, University of Notre Dame, July 2, 2010.
  • “The Rhetoric of the Abortion Debate as Anthropological Prism,” College Theology Society, Portland, Oregon, June 4, 2010.
  • “Hiding in Plain Sight: The Great Commandment as the Key to the Puzzle of Human Nature,” Society for Christian Psychology Conference, Chicago, Sept. 20, 2008.

Professional Affiliations

American Academy of Religion
American Theological Library Association
Colloquium on Violence and Religion
Soren Kierkegaard Society (webmaster)
University Faculty for Life